FORMULA FORD CHALLENGE SERIES
Subject: Front Upright Fatigue
With the 55th anniversary of Formula Ford approaching, many of the cars we race are nearly that old and need to be maintained to keep them in safe condition.
Many of the Historic Ford and Club Ford chassis utilized modified Triumph Spitfire/GT6 front uprights or “vertical links” as described in Triumph parts catalogs (Figure 1). An extension and threaded portion have been added and welded by the chassis manufacturer to replace the original trunnion mount / joint used by Triumph.
After a race in the rain, it became apparent there were issues in the Triumph style front uprights due to visible rust line at cracks through the welds of these 37-year-old parts (Figure 2).
Do not wait for old parts to fail! Inspect and have the parts properly repaired or replaced during the off season.
While you are inspecting these parts on your car, also inspect something Tivvy always taught us. The moonball in the lower wishbone must rotate in its housing when the wheel / upright is turned (Figure 3). If the upright turns within the ball or if the whole joint rotates in the lower wishbone housing, then repairs / replacement are required. There should be no vertical movement of the ball within the housing or replacement is again required.
Tech will continue to look for these conditions to keep everyone safe.